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Ecology. WHAT IS ECOLOGY? Ecology- the scientific study of interactions between organisms and their environments, focusing on energy transfer Ecology.

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Presentation on theme: "Ecology. WHAT IS ECOLOGY? Ecology- the scientific study of interactions between organisms and their environments, focusing on energy transfer Ecology."— Presentation transcript:

1 Ecology

2 WHAT IS ECOLOGY? Ecology- the scientific study of interactions between organisms and their environments, focusing on energy transfer Ecology is a science of relationships

3 WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY ENVIRONMENT? The environment is made up of two factors: Biotic factors- all living organisms inhabiting the Earth Abiotic factors- nonliving parts of the environment (i.e. temperature, soil, light, moisture, air currents)

4 Organism Population Community Biosphere Ecosystem

5 Organism - any unicellular or multicellular form exhibiting all of the characteristics of life, an individual. The lowest level of organization

6 POPULATION a group of organisms of one species living in the same place at the same time that interbreed Produce fertile offspring Compete with each other for resources (food, mates, shelter, etc.)

7 Community - several interacting populations that inhabit a common environment and are interdependent.

8 Ecosystem - populations in a community and the abiotic factors with which they interact (ex. marine, terrestrial)

9 Biosphere - life supporting portions of Earth composed of air, land, fresh water, and salt water. The highest level of organization

10 Habitat vs. Niche Niche - the role a species plays in a community; its total way of life Habitat- the place in which an organism lives out its life

11 Habitat vs. Niche A niche is determined by the tolerance limitations of an organism, or a limiting factor. Limiting factor- any biotic or abiotic factor that restricts the existence of organisms in a specific environment.

12 Examples of limiting factors - Amount of water Amount of food Temperature Amount of space Availability of mates Habitat vs. Niche

13 Feeding Relationships There are 3 main types of feeding relationships 1. Producer - Consumer 2. Predator - Prey 3. Parasite - Host

14 Feeding Relationships Producer- all autotrophs (plants), they trap energy from the sun Bottom of the food chain

15 Feeding Relationships Consumer - all heterotrophs: they ingest food containing the sun’s energy  Herbivores  Carnivores  Omnivores  Decomposers

16 Feeding Relationships CONSUMERS 1.Primary consumers Eat plants Herbivores Secondary, tertiary … consumers Prey animals Carnivores

17 Feeding Relationships Consumer-Carnivores-eat meat Predators –Hunt prey animals for food.

18 Feeding Relationships Consumer- Carnivores- eat meat Scavengers –Feed on carrion, dead animals

19 Feeding Relationships Consumer- Omnivores -eat both plants and animals

20 Feeding Relationships Consumer- Decomposers Breakdown the complex compounds of dead and decaying plants and animals into simpler molecules that can be absorbed

21 Symbiotic Relationships Symbiosis- two species living together 3 Types of symbiosis: 1. Commensalism 2. Parasitism 3. Mutualism

22 Symbiotic Relationships Commensalism- one species benefits and the other is neither harmed nor helped Ex. orchids on a tree Epiphytes: A plant, such as a tropical orchid or a bromeliad, that grows on another plant upon which it depends for mechanical support but not for nutrients. Also called xerophyte, air plant.

23 Symbiotic Relationships Commensalism- one species benefits and the other is neither harmed nor helped Ex. polar bears and cyanobacteria

24 Symbiotic Relationships Parasitism- one species benefits (parasite) and the other is harmed (host) Parasite-Host relationship

25 Symbiotic Relationships Parasitism- parasite-host Ex. lampreys, leeches, fleas, ticks, tapeworm

26 Symbiotic Relationships Mutualism- beneficial to both species Ex. cleaning birds and cleaner shrimp

27 Symbiotic Relationships Mutualism- beneficial to both species Ex. lichen

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29 Type of relationship Species harmed Species benefits Species neutral Commensalism Parasitism Mutualism = 1 species

30 Trophic Levels Each link in a food chain is known as a trophic level. Trophic levels represent a feeding step in the transfer of energy and matter in an ecosystem.

31 Trophic Levels Biomass- the amount of organic matter comprising a group of organisms in a habitat. As you move up a food chain, both available energy and biomass decrease. Energy is transferred upwards but is diminished with each transfer.

32 Trophic Levels Producers- Autotrophs Primary consumers- Herbivores Secondary consumers- small carnivores Tertiary consumers- top carnivores ENERGYENERGY

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35 Trophic Levels Food chain- simple model that shows how matter and energy move through an ecosystem

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37 Trophic Levels Food web- shows all possible feeding relationships in a community at each trophic level Represents a network of interconnected food chains

38 Food chainFood web (just 1 path of energy) (all possible energy paths)

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43 Nutrient Cycles Cycling maintains homeostasis (balance) in the environment. 3 cycles to investigate: 1. Water cycle 2. Carbon cycle 3. Nitrogen cycle

44 Water cycle- Evaporation, transpiration, condensation, precipitation

45 Water cycle-

46 Carbon cycle- Photosynthesis and respiration cycle carbon and oxygen through the environment.

47 Carbon cycle-

48 Nitrogen cycle- Atmospheric nitrogen (N 2 ) makes up nearly 78%-80% of air. Organisms can not use it in that form. Lightning and bacteria convert nitrogen into usable forms.

49 Nitrogen cycle- Only in certain bacteria and industrial technologies can fix nitrogen. Nitrogen fixation-convert atmospheric nitrogen (N 2 ) into ammonium (NH 4 + ) which can be used to make organic compounds like amino acids. N 2 NH 4 +

50 Nitrogen cycle- Nitrogen-fixing bacteria: Some live in a symbiotic relationship with plants of the legume family (e.g., soybeans, clover, peanuts).

51 Nitrogen cycle- Some nitrogen-fixing bacteria live free in the soil. Nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria are essential to maintaining the fertility of semi-aquatic environments like rice paddies.

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53 Atmospheric nitrogen Lightning Nitrogen fixing bacteria Ammonium Nitrification by bacteria NitritesNitrates Denitrification by bacteria Plants Animals Decomposers Nitrogen Cycle

54 Toxins in food chains- While energy decreases as it moves up the food chain, toxins increase in potency. This is called biological magnification Ex: DDT & Bald Eagles


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